"In both the field and upgrading unit, production resumed on April 1," an official with Cerro Negro, one of four projects that produce synthetic crude from Orinoco oil belt extra-heavy crude, told BNamericas.
The maintenance work took about three weeks. According to state oil firm PDVSA, the other three extra-heavy crude upgrading projects - Ameriven, Sincor and Petrozuata - were producing about 480,000 barrels a day (b/d) of syncrude.
On Monday, PDVSA subsidiary CVP president Eulogio Del Pin said Cerro Negro would have production of 120,000b/d of syncrude after the completion of maintenance work, an estimate the company official couldn't confirm.
Currently Cerro Negro produces extra-heavy crude and pipes it to the upgrading unit at the Jose petrochemicals and refinery complex in Anzoateguí state, where it produces some 108,000b/d of syncrude, which is then shipped to Chalmette, the Louisiana-based built-to-spec refinery where it is processed.
Chalmette is owned by 50:50 by Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA and US oil major ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM).
Cerro Negro is a JV between ExxonMobil and PDVSA, each with a 41.67% stake, and the UK's BP (NYSE: BP) with the rest.
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